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Can somebody help me please. 

I have been trying to identify a man who in some way was associated with my Father: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD and/or his brother: ROY WILLARD.

My Father George Willard was born November 1911 in Robertsbridge, Sussex and died in 1997 at the Conquest Hospital, Hastings, Sussex.  His brother Roy was born in 1920 in Robertsbridge and died in Tonbridge Hospital, Kent in 1944.

The man I am interested in was: THOMAS FRANK AMIES born c.1914 Robertsbridge, Sussex, son of HENRY J. AMIES and ANNA AMIES nee WINCHESTER and brother to REGINALD JOHN AMIES (who was known as JACK AMIES and was a Barber in village of Robertsbridge).

I only know that THOMAS AMIES in 1937 at Salehurst Parish Church, married MADGE RUMMERY,  after that period I can find no further information.

I am creating a 'Family History' of the WILLARD's including photographs of: Family Members, Friends, Work and Sport associates and other Documents. 

I have a photo of Roy Willard (my uncle) with Thomas Amies.  This would have been taken between 1940 and 1944.

One of my Aunts, who is 85 years of age identified to me THOMAS AMIES in the photo, but was unable to recall much else about him.

I would appreciate if anybody had any information about THOMAS AMIES, no matter how little, just to enable me to have an understanding of his life.  Out of interest the AMIES family lived about 30 yards away from my home and I have a photograph of Jack Amies with my two brothers on his knees taken c.1939-1940.  Jack Amies used to cut my hair.

Thank you

Roy Willard

Sussex / 1939 Army camp at Wilmington, Sussex
« on: Wednesday 12 August 20 18:58 BST (UK)  »
Can somebody help please.
I have carried out a lot of research into my Father's History: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD b.1911-d.1997.  He was born in Robertsbridge, Sussex.

In one of my photos my Father in 1939 is at an Army Camp, probably Wilmington, East Sussex.  I can identify some of the men from the photo because I knew them in Robertsbridge after WW2, but a friend has also identified two others as: NEVILLE SKINNER and TOM SPILSTEAD. 
Their names 'ring a bell' but trying to establish where they lived in Salehurst or Robertsbridge has been difficult, also their Army service.

My Father was in C Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment and from the photo I think the other men in the photo are as well.  I can display the photo if it helps.  My Father is back row at left, NEVILLE SKINNER and TOM SPILSTEAD are in front at right kneeling.

Grateful for any help.
Thank you
Roy Willard

« on: Saturday 25 July 20 10:49 BST (UK)  »
I have been researching my Family History and in doing so I have also 'looked' at people my late Father: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD [b.1911 Robertsbridge] grew up with.  As a result I have been in contact with a friend whose late Father: EDWARD CHARLES WILMER (known as Charlie Wilmer) [b.1908 Gillingham] was close to my Father.

I have learned that Charlie Wilmer had been a 'Physical Training Instructor' as part of or assigned to: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars some time before WW2. 
He started a Gymnastics Club with the assistance of: S. CRITTENDEN Late Royal Navy in Robertsbridge in the early 1930's

Before World War 2 my Father had been in the village Boxing Club as had Charlie Wilmer, they worked together at the Gypsum Mines of Robertsbridge and Mountfield, Sussex.  In April 1939 they both joined Royal Sussex Regiment TA, in September they became 'Regular Soldiers' in C Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

In 1940 they went to France with their Regiment as part of the B.E.F, My Father as a Private, Charlie as a Corporal.  With the Army in withdrawal towards Dunkirk, my father on 29 May 1940 was captured near Arras and became a POW until Liberation in 1945.  Charlie Wilmer was captured at a different location but at about the same time and became a POW until June 1944 when he was repatriated back to England.

My friend (daughter of Charlie Wilmer) has applied to the MOD for her Father's Army Service Record, but with the Covid 19 pandemic there is a delay in the processing of all applications.

I would like to know if any members of this Forum have any knowledge of Charlie Wilmer in the 1920s and 1930s, especially his involvement with: Gymnastics, Boxing, St John's Ambulance Brigade and involvement with 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.  The activities listed were predominantly at Robertsbridge, Sussex, but part of his childhood and teens was at Ticehurst, Sussex.

I have two photos of Charlie Wilmer alongside my Father which I can display if requested.

I would appreciate any help.
Thank you


Armed Forces / 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
« on: Thursday 09 July 20 12:18 BST (UK)  »
Can somebody help me or point me in the right direction please.
I am helping a friend looking into her father's history:

Born 28 April 1908 Gillingham, Kent
Married Salehurst Parish Church, Sussex: 10th November 1928
Enlisted in TA: 17.04.1939
Corporal in C Company 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.
Service No: 6400904
POW June 1940
Imprisoned in Stalag 383
Repatriated June 1944
Lived in Roberstbridge, Sussex
Died 1975

He may have been known as: Charles Edward Wilmer or Willmer, when he lived in Robertsbridge he was always known as: Charlie Willmer.

I have 'searched' Newspapers and in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer April 8 1933 there is an article about a Gymnastic Display, whereby local boys have been trained by: Mr. C. Wilmer formerly physical instructor, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.

I knew Charlie Wilmer, he worked with my father before the war at The Gypsum Mines, Mountfield/Robertsbridge, Sussex and they both served in the same company of 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.  They both became POWs, but were in different Stalags.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
Roy Willard

« on: Wednesday 01 April 20 19:11 BST (UK)  »
Can somebody help me please,

I am researching my Family History, I have now reached a point of trying to confirm the identity of:
PHILADELPHIA WILLARD b: in January, 1779 Sandhurst, Kent.  Her mother: JANE WILLARD nee TOLHURST, father: THOMAS WILLARD.  Married 20th May 1811 to JOSEPH BISHOP at Ewhurst, Sussex.  She married in the name of PHILLIS WILLARD.

My 'Lineage' is:

Her son: HENRY WILLARD b: 17th July, 1807, at the Workhouse or Poorhouse, Etchingham [Ticehurst], Sussex, no known father.  Married on 30th December 1827 to MARTHA REED at Sedlescombe, Sussex.

Their son: THOMAS WILLARD b: 5th October, 1847 Salehurst, Sussex.  Married on 4th November 1871 to CHRISTIANA MARTIN.

Their son: GEORGE HENRY WILLARD b: 9th June, 1886 Robertsbridge, Sussex.   Married December 1909 at Lewes, Sussex to ETHEL EVERY.

Their son: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD b: 5th November 1911 East Street, Robertsbridge, Sussex.  Married 21st November 1936 to LILLIAN JOSEPHINE WILLARD.

Their son: ROY ALFRED WILLARD b: 12th May 1946, High Street, Robertsbridge, Sussex.

My dilemma is that I believe Philadelphia was at different times known as Phillis and Philly.  This is not unusual, Thomas Willard's wife was known as Cristey when she was young and Kate when she was married.  One of my Dad's sisters was born Violet Elsie, the whole family called her Elsie, her husband I always knew as 'Uncle Tim' was born Cyril Bernard!

My research has shown that in the period 1795 to 1808 PHILADELPHIA, PHILLIS or PHILLY WILLARD gave birth to at least three children and for each one she was taken before a JP for a: Bastardy Examination.  This was done in order to try and establish who the father was.

On one of her appearances the 'Bastardy' records show that: RICHARD DUMBRIL of Salehurst, Labourer is the father.
o   PAR 477: PARISH OF SALEHURST (1575-2006)
   PAR 477/34: Overseers of the Poor: bastardy (1776-1840)
   PAR 477/34/3: Bastardy examinations (1779-1809)
   PAR 477/34/3/44: Bastardy examination (12 Oct 1796)
o   Title:Bastardy examination
o   Date:12 Oct 1796
o   Repository:East Sussex Record Office
o   ESRO reference:PAR 477/34/3/44
o   Level:File
o   Description:Philly Willard of Salehurst, singlewoman: Richard Dumbril of Salehurst, labourer is the father
o   Creator(s)
Parish of Salehurst

I have tried to find details/history of RICHARD DUMBRIL in Salehurst for the late 1700 and early 1800 but without success.

Can anybody offer suggestions or advice.

Thank you

Roy Willard

The Common Room / GEORGE HENRY WILLARD My Grandfather's Wedding in 1909
« on: Saturday 23 November 19 18:10 GMT (UK)  »
Can somebody help me please?

I have been researching my Family History and have been relatively successful finding information on my Father's family.  However one particular area eludes me, my Grandfather: GEORGE HENRY WILLARD, b.June, 1886, Robertsbridge, Sussex.

I know a lot about his life, I was born in 1946 in Robertsbridge and my Grandfather lived roughly fifty yards away until he passed away August 1965, so contact with him and my Grandmother: ETHEL WILLARD nee EVERY was frequent.

I have tried many times without success to find any 'Newspaper' record of their Marriage which took place in the Lewes Registration District in: October, November or December of 1909. 

My Grandmother: ETHEL EVERY was born in Lewes 1890, she was from a prominent Brighton/Lewes family.  My Grandfather worked for the Railway company: K.&.E.S.R.

Can you help me to find any Newspaper record of their Marriage?  I would appreciate very much your assistance.

Thank you
Roy Willard

The Common Room / Robertsbridge, East Sussex
« on: Saturday 09 February 19 21:27 GMT (UK)  »
Can somebody help me please?
I am researching my family history: WILLARDS in SALEHURST and ROBERTSBRIDGE.
My name is Roy Willard and I was born 1946 in Robertsbridge, one of three sons to George Alfred Willard and Lilian Josephine Willard nee Williams.  Through this website and others I have found out a lot of information about my family and am very grateful for it.

Up until at least 1929, my Grandfather: George Henry Willard, wife Ethel Willard nee Every, their children: Florence Alice, George Alfred (my Dad), Violet Elsie, Holman Frederick, Doreen Ada, Roy, Joy and Jean all lived at The Clappers, North Street, Robertsbridge, their house was adjacent to the Level Crossing of the Kent & East Sussex Railway (K.&.E.S.R), indeed my Grandfather was employed all his working life by K.&.E.S.R.

I am trying to find out the history of The Clappers, who lived there and also when it was demolished.  I know from experience that every winter the River Rother overflowed it's banks and flooded the adjacent fields and properties.  The Clappers was one of these and the occupants over the years had to take refuge on the 1st floor level.

I would appreciate if anybody has old photographs of The Clappers and knowledge of people who lived there.

Thank you

Roy Willard

The Common Room / Thomas WILLARD - prison record
« on: Thursday 08 March 18 21:13 GMT (UK)  »

This is a report from: THE SUSSEX ADVERTISER, published in Lewes TUESDAY, March 1, 1864.

On Friday February 26 at Hurst Green Petty Sessions:
   Thomas and Charles Willard, two lads both under 16, were charged with stealing 3 gallons of apples, value 1s, the property of Mr. James Dunn, Farmer, at Salehurst, on the 5th February.
   Prosecutor said:--I had some apples in a room adjoining my oast-house.  On the 5th February I found 3 gallons of apples in a bag in my oast-house, and on watching them in the evening saw the two prisoners come to the oast and take them away.  I accused them of theft which they acknowledged.  The oldest prisoner was in my employ.
   Their worships sentenced the elder boy to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour, and ordered P.C. Bexhill to give the younger 8 strokes with a birch rod.

Thomas Willard b.1847 - d.1888, was my Grandfather's (George Henry Willard) Father.  I assume that as the theft of apples took place in Salehurst, Sussex and the Hurst Green Petty Sessions were also in Sussex, Thomas would have been taken to Lewes Prison, Sussex for his 14 days imprisonment. 
Is there a possibility that his photograph was taken at the prison? 
Where would I find Court and Prison records linked with the case of Thomas and Charles Willard? 
Three gallons of apples, how many apples or what volume would be occupied by this quantity?

I would appreciate any help, Thank you.

Best Regards

Roy Willard

The Common Room / WILLARD family of Robertsbridge Sussex
« on: Wednesday 21 February 18 10:33 GMT (UK)  »
Help please

If anybody knows a Marilyn Smith who has carried out research on the Willard family history, would they mind asking her to contact me with a view to exchanging details.

A long shot I know, but I would like to contact her somehow.

Thank you

Roy Willard

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